« On being walked on by a cat | Main | I bring you glad tidings of Mrs. Giggles, Haven's cats, and Christmas songs »

December 13, 2006



LOL. Should I be insulted, Julie, that you put me right smack in the middle of your anti-spam diatribe?

Well, I did tell you to do what you wanted with it, right? (giggle)

BTW, if anybody's wondering, Tulum is on the Mayan Riviera, east of Cancun.

I don't know if anybody else has noticed the increase in spam even in the last few months. Within 5 days, I had over 900 pieces of spam. What really gets me, is the stuff written in Thai or some weird language that only comes out in a myriad of XXs on first look.

And you're right, Julie: some aren't even trying to sell anything. I've got Mailwasher and I just received one spam that doesn't show any sender at all. So I can't even block it. Or I'll get spam with not a word on it. Some people, I guess, really *don't* have anything intelligent to do or someone is paying some poor suckers to do this. I just read an article about what spam is costing us in annoyance but also in usurped message space and slowing of legitimate mail.

Julie Anne Long

LOL, Ranurgis!! I was wondering how you'd feel about appearing on a blog post with the word "schlong," but I figured your sense of humor would carry you through. And I wanted to put something nicer up there along with the spam rant. :)

I've noticed a BIG increase in spam lately, too. Some spam filters, like IHAteSpam, have a function that filters out foreign languages you choose, a nice little feature, so you won't get the foreign language spam. And if you get spam with not a word on it, odds are whoever sent it is attempting to get you to download spyware or a virus. Lovely people. :) There are some pretty good blocking programs now. Sheez. It's a pain to be this vigilant. How on earth could you enforce an international anti-spam law?

Wasn't it Kathy K. who went to Tulum not too long ago??

Haven Rich

Would now be the time to tell you that I sent you a ton of photos but mentioned that it wasn't porn in the subject line haha. So it might have got filtered.

Great photo Ranurgis!!!

And yes I've been getting a ton of spam in all my email boxes. Typically I don't get that many in yahoo, but in the past few days, about 10-20 a day. Which from 1 a month is a huge difference. My other emails get about 30-50 a day....yuck. But most of the subject lines are so-n-so wrote:

As a huge fan, I'd say send it printed out on toilet paper and I'll read it. I swear I'm not picky!

Jennifer Y.

Spammers are getting more creative with their subject lines...some sound almost poetic...as do some of their messages. I hate SPAM though...my SPAM filter catches just about everything though and most SPAM never makes it to my inbox...they go to my Bulk folder.

Julie Anne Long

LOL, Haven!! You DID end up in my spam folder!! But I found you!! What great photos!! That's quite a kitty family you've got going there. I'll post some maybe this week, maybe next. I'll try to get a recent, decent photo of my feline SIREN, Domenic. He really wants to go out in the backyard right now, but it's raining pretty hard. I've opened the back door to SHOW him all that water pouring down, which he doesn't like a bit (we go out to the yard over the porch and through the garage), but I don't think he quite grasps that this means it's ALSO raining in the backyard. So he's whining.

Yahoo has a great spam filter. AOL does a pretty good job, too. But I don't use either of those for my JAL account. ANd I have so much security software installed that I run into some sort of compatibility issues every time I try to introduce new spam catching software. Sigh. I intend to keep at it. I'm probably tilting at windmills, but jeez.

And I know, Jennifer...there is that part of me that loves a sort of poetic non-sequitur, or an odd combo of words. For instance, this morning, I got spam from "Socket H. Machiavellians." The other day I got some from "Wateriest Q. Unfurls" (those were the alleged "senders.") Because I love words, I *am* sort of tickled by some of the combinations that come through. Still...man, enough is enough!


I agree with you on the last spam you mentioned, Julie. Some of it reminds me of certain older books I've read. I'm actually reading a YA book right now called "Saddle the Sea" by Joan Aiken. Her father was a poet and/or academic in literature. Her sister also wrote as Jane Aiken Hodge. I don't know if you gals know either.

This is the first book I'm reading by Joan. It's about the son of a British army Captain (deceased) and a Spanish noblewoman who died in childbirth. He feels mistreated by everybody in his grandfather's household. His grandfather has lost all his children: his daughter as well as four sons who died during the Wars. The only two people who were kind to him are also dead, an English soldier who knew his father and stayed in Spain because he was quite ill after the Peninsular Wars and the cook at the grand house he lives in. His blond hair, I guess, sets him very visibly apart from the rest of the Spanish. His nickname is "the Tiger".

It was after Bernardina, the cook, dies that he goes to find his father's family in England. I'm halfway through the book and he's still going through all manner of trials in Spain. Anyway, some of the style in which she tries to approximate Regency speech patterns reminds me of some of those spam letters. Some of the adventures he has are almost surrealistic.

I have all sorts of Spamguard programs as well. I don't usually have to weed out too much except these XXX letters. The 900 spam I talked about was the spam in the discarded pile.

What really got me was when I opened a new account after I moved here last year and got a new ISP. I couldn't use my computer for quite a while because one of my brilliant moving "helpers" had put all my power cords into some box in the basement. And I needed 3 of them. All except 2 short extension cords ditto. Anyway, there was just no way for me to get the power outlets and cords together with the computer and peripherals. But when I installed my new ISP program when I finally did get access, there were over 50 pieces of spam waiting before I even knew what my e-mail address was. I was really upset. Now either someone makes sure spammers know these addresses or the company uses a certain pattern to allocate them. It's only by mistake that some of my outgoing mail ended up with that address. I couldn't decide whether to keep on with that company or whether to stay with the tried and true which had served me well for dial-up. However, it is a pain to always have to change the phone line to allow for the sending with the dial-up. Since I hope I'll finally be finished paying off what kept me so very short of funds till now, I'm hoping to get DSL and get all my addresses changed. What a job. I don't envy myself in the least.

I'll see what sympatico does with the spam.

Julie, I'm glad you only said that we were "pretty" photogenic. If you had used anything more flattering, I definitely would have had to protest. The book and ruins are photogenic; I'm not. I had actually hoped my brother would photograph me against the building somewhat to my right. This really wasn't the best spot but with his injuries my brother was not in the best mood to ask any favors of.

Oops. I'd better save. I had some little error message appear. There are likely errors in this but I'd better post befor I get thrown off.


I do get spam here and there, and I agree that it's annoying. Julie, you sound very computer-savvy. I have no idea how to clean my computer.

The weather here sucks; I hate rain. Tuesday night I got sick (turned out to be a stomach virus), so I stayed home from work yesterday and today. What a way to celebrate my birthday, which is today. This is the second year in a row that I haven't felt 100% well on my birthday. Sucks indeed. :(

Julie Anne Long

Oh no!! Poor Diana!! So sorry you're sick—and on your birthday! The NERVE of that stomach virus. :) Happy birthday!! Glad you decided to spend part of it here with us. :) And...well, you know, I'd rather be sick when it's dismal out than when it's sunny—I hate being stuck inside when it's sunny. And the falling rain is a nice sound. (Just looking for a silver lining. LOL.) Do you have tea? Crackers (saltines)? When my stomach is bothering me, I go for ginger or peppermint tea, and maybe, when I'm feeling a little better, something light and salty.

And yeah, I've had numerous jobs where I was the appointed computer...maven? Default maven? Assistant maven? So I've learned a LOT over the years about computers, which has been really helpful in my current career, since I'm sort of a one-woman show over here with my computer and website, etc. Still, every now and then I kinda wish I could pick up the phone and dial the extension for tech support, like you could do at my corporate job. LOL.

Good luck wrestling your computer into submission, Ranurgis. LOL. And as for photogenic—you look great! That's a nice photo, too—I like all the colors, the book's pastels and your bright orange shirt against the gray of the ruins and the green grass. And speaking of photogenic...well, I'll cop to not being too bad looking, but I seriously am *not* a natural when it comes to taking photos. Almost ALL of my friends agree with me. LOL. My left eye practically vanishes when I smile. I'm usually doing something odd with one of my hands—gesturing, or what have you—so that it looks like a claw or something. And I usually contrive to look sort of drunk in photos, for some reason, and I almost *never* drink. LOL. It's a learned skill, taking good photos. I'm getting better at it, though. Takes a little practice.


Thanks for the birthday wish. I've been eating bland food, but today treated myself to chicken noodle soup, which my doctor said was okay to have. I do have a supply of water crackers and apple juice, but that is starting to get old.

Julie Anne Long

Hope you're feeling better today, Diana!! Hey, at least the sun's out -- sort of -- for the time being.


Thanks. I am feeling better today. I'm meeting up with friends for a birthday dinner at The Stinking Rose tonight. I don't know what I can eat there that's not too rich or oily/buttery.

Kathy K

Oy!... not sure where the last 3 days disappeared to, but I missed 'em!
Could be the babysitting kids and Christmas cookies I do with them every year...that'd be a good excuse!

Tulum ... yeah! I *was* there Julie and Ranurgis, but I *sniff* didn't have anything to read...and I sat in whatever shade I could find, trying to keep my arm still while everyone else toured the ruins. And I was the one that wanted to go! *whine* But I had fallen ~ I missed a step coming out of the small shopping complex and tried to catch myself...nuh uh..won't do that again! ~ and hurt my arm [turns out I broke a bone in my elbow] just before arriving at the ruins...and I MISSED everything; although my husband did take some beautiful pictures. And I agree with Julie, Ranurgis, it's a VERY nice picture. The colour contrasts are terrific! Great book to have along with you too. ^.^

As for computer-checkups, that's my husband's dominion. There are six of us on this computer; my husband and myself, and our four children, um, three of whom are now adults and our 14 year old daughter. Our two oldest daughters, especially, download a LOT of music and that takes up a lot of space.
And the SPAM... urk! Our provider has a fairly good email filter, but I'm always having to block senders 'cause of the SPAM. The ones I particularly dislike are the "Investment Opportunity" ones...they're the worst with all the fancy headers that say nothing about what they are.
And I do a lot of online anime card trading and selling, so I want to be careful of what I put into the word-blocker because I'm never sure what people are going to put in their headers when they email me.

As for weather, it snowed again last night...getting really, really tired of it. We've had record snowfalls for both October and November this year. Our usual snowfall for October is 7.5 cm [3 in] and we got 12.7 cm [5 in]...in November the average is 18.9 cm [7.5 in] and we got 45 cm [almost 18 in]!!! And we live in what is usually called 'Sunny Alberta'. Nuh uh..not this year. Sunshine and blue skies are rare and with dusk falling at 4 pm and it not getting light until after 8 am, it makes for some very dull, dark days....*sigh* It almost makes me yearn for summer ~ almost!

Ah well, time to go...I'm starting to sound as though I'm at a *whine* and cheese party for one!.... ^.^

Take care all, hope your weather is bright and that the SPAM fairies work hard for you all!


Julie Anne Long

Hey Kathy K.! That's right, I rememeber now: you were one of the people who fell victim to the..."the curse of the Mexican Tourist." LOL. I know so many people who came back from a Mexico vacation with stitches or a sling!! That's a shame you missed Tulum.

Yeah, I do wonder who on EARTH would invest in a stock they learned about in an a SPAM?? I guess it's kind of like telemarketing...it would only take a very, very few people to make it cost-effective for the villains (spammers). Sigh. What do your anime cards look like?? Are there any links you can show us?

And listening to the weather reports from other states at the moment, I feel like I have NO right to ever complain about San Francisco weather, despite the fact that we don't really get a summer (and the fog drives this girl NUTS). The Pacific Northwest is getting battered right now. And we've had our share of serious rain lately (along with mudslides in Marin County), and we have snow on a few Bay Area peaks (not al that uncommon—unlike snow in San Francisco, which happens so, so rarely), but nothing like your snowfall or the storms in Oregon and Washington, for instance. The sun is shining right now, and it's chilly, but gorgeous. I'll try to send a little psychic sun your way. :)

Kathy K

Hi Julie, Well you must have done something right 'cause we had, for the most part, a gorgeous blue sky yesterday and lots of bright sunshine... but, alas, it was temporary.. back to gray, gray, gray...it blends in so well with the white snow piled up everywhere! *grin*

My anime cards are my other addiction [books & reading still #1], and I do have some links of some of my cards...another hobby ~ scanning in cards and posting them. The first three links following are indexes to my scans, the last link is a direct link for yet some more cards; for anyone that's interested in them ~ this hobby actually started with Sailormoon cards; it's now taken over a good part of my collecting room ~ along with my Books!





Hope this finds pleasant weather for all and that Christmas shopping may be complete! I, on the other hand, still have to get out and brave the madding crowds. *sigh*

Kathy ^.^

Julie Anne Long

Those cards are really cool, Kathy!! I particularly like the Tarot cards. I've always been interested in the symbols on Tarot cards, so it was interesting to see them interpreted in anime. I have another friend who's interested in that sort of thing, too, so I showed her your links.

Man—cold here today!! but clear and gorgeous. I only spent an hour or so in line at the Post Office. :) But I think I'm done (famous last words). Hope you survived your madding crowds. Mine weren't so madding—people were surprisingly cheerful, which was kind of nice. Then again, sunshine can do wonders for moods, too. :)

Kathy K

Well, today we have sunshine with blue skies; it may even last the whole day!
The temperature is higher today as well at 5C [aka 41F]...the only problem with that is that the snow on the roads [and they're "working" on clearing residential streets ~ finally!] will get slushier and then when it gets colder ~ and before the snow plows get here ~ the ruts will be even worse... Yuck! I hate the warm / cold cycles...much easier to adjust when it's either cold or ... well, cold... and for me it's acceptable up to about -15C [5F], *As long as it's SUNNY out*, but then I'm sometimes a bit of an oddity.

Yep, card collecting... an addiction waiting to happen! But I'm a long-time, life-long collector, so I'm having fun!


Well, I guess my brother was the accident- prone one this time around. Actually, I can't remember ever getting badly injured on any of my trips except my very first one back to Germany when I was 18. I broke off my funny-bone on my left arm, had an operation to get it screwed on and then another one after about a year to get the screw taken out. Only the screw broke and I was out longer for that than for putting the screw in. I guess the head of the screw kept bothering me. I still have it--broken end and all--as a souvenir.

Did you take a complete guided tour or did you just take some day-trips when you went? The first time I was in Mexico we started off in Merida and crossed the Yucatan Peninsula north/south and then from Cancun drove to Tulum and Xel-ha. This time we took a day trip from Carmen del Playa. I don't even know if that was on the map when we drove through in 1990 or 1991. Now it's even got a Sam's World or whatever it's called. I didn't go into the town though.

Patricia Cochran

I had an absolutely atrocious spam moment a
few years back! I was checking my email and
opened a most innocuous-appearing communica-
tion. What appeared was not the usual for-
mat which is the standard for email. It was
photographs of men and women in the most
shocking of situations. I can assure you that as soon I caught my breath, I removed
that email from view. I was most upset by the fact that it could have easily been one of my young grandchildren who saw that. I have been known to ask one of them to open
and check my email for something I am ex-
pecting. Needless to say, that very evening
my husband, who is the computer expert in our family, installed several software
programs to protect me and our sweet grand-
children. I am truly hoping that this will
never happen again. I fear my seventy-year
-old heart might not be able to stand the

The comments to this entry are closed.